The Anonymous Widower

Essex And Network Rail Get Planning For Beaulieu Station

This page on the Network Rail website is entitled Network Rail And Essex County Council Are Working Together To Develop Proposals For The First Railway Station To Be Built On The Great Eastern Main Line For Over 100 Years.

These are the first two paragraphs.

The new station is part of a wider regeneration of the Beaulieu Park estate in Chelmsford with new road infrastructure and up to 14,000 homes.

Essex County Council, in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), successfully secured £218m of funding from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure (HIF) fund together with £34m contributions the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Countryside Zest to deliver the wider scheme.

These are some more points from the page.

  • There will be three platforms with a central loop line and new tracks to enable stopping services to call at the station while allowing fast trains to pass through unimpeded.
  • The station will have lifts.
  • There will be a large number of parking spaces and secure cycle storage.
  • There will be taxis and buses.

There is a comprehensive video that describes the new station, the new roads and the housing developments.

Finally, Chelmsford is getting the transport system it needs.

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

Boris Johnson Wants To Build ‘Colossal’ Irish Sea Wind Farm Within A Year

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Telegraph.

This is the sub-title.

Prime Minister tells industry leaders he has ‘a dream’ that giant floating wind farm could provide ‘gigawatts of energy’

These are the first three paragraphs of the article.

Boris Johnson is pushing energy firms to build a “colossal” offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea within 12 months.

The Prime Minister told industry leaders he has “a dream” that a giant floating wind farm could provide “gigawatts of energy and do it within a year”, according to a government source.

He was addressing wind energy firms at a round table discussion in Downing Street as the Government finalised its energy security strategy.

It is said in the article, that industry leaders smiled at the suggestion.

My feelings though are different and I wonder if Boris has been briefed by an offshore wind expert, who knows what they’re doing.

Quietly and unobtrusively, a new technology has been developed, that allows Boris the luxury to dream.

The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm

In the UK, we are getting used to superlatives being applied to our offshore wind farms.

In this article on offshoreWIND.biz, which is entitled World’s Largest Floating Offshore Wind Farm Fully Operational, this is said.

Located 15 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in water depths ranging from 60 metres to 80 metres, Kincardine is the largest operating floating wind farm.

The project consists of five Vestas V164-9.5 MW and one V80-2 MW turbine, each installed on WindFloat® semi-submersible platforms designed by Principle Power.

This picture from Cobra Group shows one of the turbines being towed into position at Kincardine.

There are more pictures on this web page.

WindFloats would appear to be proven technology, as there are now two commercial wind farms using the technology and several others under development.

Erebus And Valorous

But Kincardine Wind Farm won’t be the world’s largest floating wind farm for long!

The next two wind farms, using the technology are Erebus and Valorous, who will provide a total of 400 MW from a company called Blue Gem Wind, which will use larger 14 MW turbines.

They will be installed to the South-West of the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Blue Gem Wind

Blue Gem Wind are based in Pembroke Dock and are a partnership of Simply Blue Energy, a pioneering Celtic Sea energy developer, and TotalEnergies.

Simply Blue Group are an Irish company, who are also working with Shell on the development of 1.35 GW of wind power to the West of Ireland.

50 GW Of Wind In The Celtic Sea

On the Projects page of the Blue Gem website, this is said about floating wind in the Celtic Sea.

Floating wind is set to become a key technology in the fight against climate change with over 80% of the worlds wind resource in water deeper than 60 metres. Independent studies have suggested there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland. This renewable energy resource could play a key role in the UK meeting the 2050 Net-Zero target required to mitigate climate change. Floating wind will provide new low carbon supply chain opportunities, support coastal communities and create long-term benefits for the region.

Is this Boris’s project?

These are my thoughts.

How Many Turbines Would You Need For 50 GW?

If you need 7 x 14 MW turbines for each 100 MW, that would mean you need 3500 turbines and WindFloats for 50 GW.

How Would Each Turbine Be Installed?

It appears from pictures on the Cobra Group web site, that the turbine is mounted on the WindFloat using a large crane on a dock, whilst the WindFloat is alongside.

  • The WindFloat and the turbine are then towed out into the desired position.
  • It would then be anchored to the sea-bed.
  • Finally, it would be connected to the power network.

I would doubt, that one team could probably install more than one turbine per day.

But I suspect more than one team could work in and out of one port at a time.

How Many Ports Could Be Used For Turbine Assembly?

As Blue Gem Wind is based in Pembroke Dock, I would assume that one of the ports would be on Milford Haven Waterway.

But there are other ports on the Welsh and Irish coasts, where the turbine lift could be accomplished.

How Much Capacity Could Be Installed In Twelve Months?

Suppose you had two ports doing assembly, with two teams working at each port, which would mean four turbines could be installed in a day.

  • In a month, that would be 4 x 14 x 30 MW per month.
  • This is nearly 1.7 GW per month or 20 GW per year.

It does appear to me, that floating wind farms with the right project management could be very much quicker to install than traditional fixed foundation wind turbines.

I believe that if we get the manufacturing and the project management right, that a colossal 20 GW of floating wind can be installed in twelve months.

Conclusion

Most people won’t believe Boris’s claim, but I feel that there is a degree of reality behind it, if we can produce four WindFloats and four turbines per day and enough cables and electrical gubbins to link them all together.

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Birds And Offshore Renewable Energy

I have worried about this for some time, as die-hard wind farm opponents use birds being scythed to pieces in wind farms as an emotional reason for not building wind farms.

I searched the Internet and found this academic report from the University of Rhode Island, which is entitled How Are Birds Affected by the Block Island Wind Farm and How Do They Interact With the Wind Turbines?.

Note.

  1. Block Island Wind Farm is a mildly controversial 30 MW wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
  2. Block Island wind farm is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.

The report gives three ways about how birds interact with wind farms.

Birds Fly Out Of The Way

First, many birds do not experience any interaction with the turbines at all as they fly either at a higher altitude or closer to the shore than the turbines’ locations.

Wind Farms Become A Food Source

The second interaction between birds and offshore wind turbines is a positive one that has been documented throughout Europe; but, with only the Block Island Wind Farm, it is too early to document in the United States. Researchers have found that the base of a wind turbine can create artificial reefs that act as an attractive site to both fish and shellfish. These artificial reefs provide a feeding ground for certain species of birds as the turbines essentially become a central habitat for many bird species’ prey.

Displacement Of The Birds

The final interaction that birds have with offshore wind turbines is displacement. This primary negative effect is experienced when wind turbines are constructed in areas that birds would naturally like to be; but, due to the structures, no longer have access to. To put it simply, he says, “if you put the turbines where the birds want to be, you take away these areas from the birds”.

Conclusion

It appears to me, that if you are putting up wind farms, whether they are offshore or onshore, that it is essential you do your research.

As in this case, experts from the local university are often a good resource to call upon.

 

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | 3 Comments